Online social media has opened up the world to individuals, providing unprecedented access to other people across the globe. While the advance of social media can be argued to be increasing the acceptance of others from different cultural backgrounds, it is also argued to have negative effects. For example, an argument is building stating that social media is creating a societal shift toward anti-social behaviors. Here are three arguments of this anti-social movement:
Altered Communication Patterns
With the rise of social media, people are turning to online networks to obtain information about their world rather than gathering information from close personal networks. This is creating anti-social behavior because, with increased spam and false online information, individuals are becoming wary of the information they receive. This wariness can create increased feelings of mistrust and the inability to fully connect with others.
Shortened Language Usage
As more people rely on text messaging and online social media posts to communicate with others, they are developing short hand ways of relaying their messages. Some argue this short hand communication development is negatively impacting societal language patterns.
Some believe that, as younger generations become more reliant on short hand online communication patterns, their language and spelling development will suffer. This new text-speak is also widening the gap between older and younger generations because the older generations are unfamiliar with newer text acronyms. When this gap occurs between parents and children, major household complications can arise.
Disconnected from Others
One disturbing argument of the anti-social movement is social media is drawing individuals away from their primary, in-person social networks. For example, when engaging in important life events such as graduations and birthdays, many social media users are more concerned about updating their online statuses and uploading photos than connecting with the most important people present at these events.
Another argument of this movement is that, when communicating through online outlets, individuals begin abandoning social etiquette and fail to see the human-ness of others. This is most evident in the explosion of cyber-bullying in younger generations. Cyber-bullying is a particularly disturbing trend because it shows how negatively younger people are able to act outside of face-to-face interactions.
A final point arguing the increase of people disconnecting from others regards the rise of telecommuting workers. When employees work from home over the internet, they miss out on important co-worker interactions. This isolation can cause teleworkers to feel like outsiders and prevent them from identifying with organizational cultures. Since telecommuting work is rapidly expanding, this is one dilemma that must be resolved for this work set-up to function properly.
Whether or not you agree with the idea that social media is anti-social, one thing is for certain â€“ online social media wonâ€™t disappear anytime soon. As more people migrate to the online world, social media will only continue to expand.
As such, individuals should assess whether or not their online practices are primarily benefitting or harming their well-being and make adjustments as necessary. Only after making these adjustments can online users begin experiencing the true benefits that online social media can offer.